Well its that time of the year again. The Independent Wargames Group Annual of Fun 2018. For the young and uninformed from around the World the image above is the cartoon character Andy Capp who embodied the years when I was growing up in the North East of the 1960's and 1970's. Andy was a hard drinking, work shy, rascal who often fought with his wife Flo or any other person for that matter. He had a good heart and loved his life and football.
As a child I used to love to read his exploits and his view on life in and around Hartlepool, a place that sadly still suffers from deprivation and lack of investment.But Andy was always impulsive and hopeful of winning big on the horses. God forbid that he should need to get a job.
What has this to do with wargaming?
Very little really, but like all good annuals they should contain humorous and the like.
Anyway onto some more nostalgia, [do you see what I did there] It has been a very busy Christmas Period and wargaming has taken a back seat but now I'm back so managed to complete another Hinchliffe unit for my English Civil War project, the aim? To re create the armies that my long standing opponent John Reidy sold way back in the 1980's which I was always impressed by and wanted to own but never had the cash to buy.
I can never replicate the way John painted that wonderful couple of armies, by God I would love to have them even now. Unusually for me I have drawn up a list of what I still need to buy and paint to complete the two armies, it is quite a long list. I say unusual because I try not to buy large amounts of metal now, because I find piles of unpainted figures very de-motivating. The list however is necessary as I know Ian Hinds intends to hold a Spring sale of Hinchliffe figures which it would make sense to use to buy what I need.
Anyway back to 2018. Show wise I didn't attend as many as usual, this was simply because of other commitments ie. holidays and family commitments. Of the shows I did attend the best for me was the first Partizan which had a great number of quality games to look at and gain inspiration. The worst...York and that was simply because of the success of the event which made attending quite an unpleasant experience. Hopefully next year's will be a more pleasant event with new games that will again inspire me.
One is overwhelmed by the number of brave individuals prepared to put their money where their mouths are and produce small ranges of figures, this year has been no different with some unusual subjects released. This is in 28mm by the way. I think there are several wargamers who deserve recognition for their courage. They will never make a fortune but still release figures. This years favourites for me are Graham Cummings of Crann Tara fame for releasing his wonderful SYW French mounted musketeers and Saxon figures sculpted by the son? of Charles Stadden. Brilliant. The second person who deserves a thank you is Barry Hilton for beginning to release a lovely Turkish range.Great sculpts.
On to rules. What a year yet again as wargames rules were released covering every period, scale and genre from skirmish to army sized games, it was never ending. John and I played several sets of these rules and frankly I enjoyed them all for different reasons. My overall favourite was Simon Miller's, For King and Parliament which captured the period beautifully.
John and I however have also looked back into our wargaming past and re discovered the excellence of the original Volley and Bayonet rules that give a subtle but quick playing game.Frank Chadwick is a very good writer of subtle rules.
Of course 2018 saw the release of Black Powder 2 which I naturally bought. One either loves or simply hates these rules. I actually have grown to appreciate their simplicity and lightness of touch, yes the new book has issues ie. poor proof reading, but as a set of fun rules they work and work very well.
So what for the future? Well 2019 sees me travel over the border into the land of the Scots for The Great Game 2019, the re enactment of The Battle of Waterloo in 28mm. It should be quite a weekend and all for a very good cause. Apart from that I hope to fight more games and complete my ECW project which will then allow me to return to the renaissance and the small metal mountain calling me.I intend to get to more wargames shows next year, and visit ones I have never attended jut to see what they are about. So to all wargamers who visit this modest site, a Happy New Year and a very prosperous one.